New XBOX Dashboard Experience Is A Legal Nightmare

... and by Legal Nightmare, I mean that I'm going to have nightmares because of the sheer unadulterated length of the EULA you need to accept before you can use the service.

It goes on for PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES and PAGES ...

... well, you get the rough idea.

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#technology, #Games, #legal, #microsoft, #xbox
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Toshiba Laptop Recovery Blank Screen

So I got a new laptop today (my old one is dying; the hard drive has bad blocks, so rather than just buy a new hard drive, I decided to get a swankier model and give away the old laptop as a gift once I've had some time to sit down and repair it).

Unfortunately, the only one that BestBuy could sell me was one which already had been mutilated by the Geek Squad. Given that I have no idea what they did to it, it's off to System Recovery land to explore and find out.

Unfortunately, every time I tried a Recovery and then booted up, it failed. It'd get through the progress bar screen, and then stop working.

Safe mode? It'd stop after loading crcdisk.sys.

Four different attempts (and several hours of messing around later), I finally got it to work.

I took out the flash card that was in the drive.

Motto of the story: If you're doing a recovery and it doesn't work, make sure you've not got any PCMCIA cards, flash cards, USB thumb drives or anything else like that plugged in which aren't part of the original system.

It's either that which fixed it or the Startup Repair option (first one in the list when you do a System Recovery, not a Toshiba Recovery).

*sigh* It really shouldn't be this hard. Still, hopefully this will solve the problem for a bunch of other people out there who were seeing the same thing. Worth a shot before you start deleting driver files at least...

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Vista Image Backup

So, my laptop has Vista Home Premium, and I'm starting to get bad sectors... so tomorrow is a Fry's trip day.

However, I'm sorely annoyed at the limitations in the backup as disk image technologies available to me.

Vista's Backup System

Vista has a built-in backup system. I'm running Vista Home Premium. This backup system will only backup my files; it won't create a backup image. Epic Fail.

To get the full-on disk imaging backup, apparently I need to upgrade to Vista Ultimate Edition. $139. That's pathetic. So on to my next option...

Norton Ghost

Ah, Ghost, how I loved thee. Your ability to create a boot disk I could use to backup pretty much any system as an image was legendary.

Unfortunately, the latest version (which works with Vista) no longer offers me that option. It runs while the system is up and running, backing up in the background using the Windows Shadow Volume Service to do its magic.

And it does so - on my work machine at least - while soaking up nearly all my CPU time and hanging.

Ugh.

So now I have to find something else to do the business. Wish me luck.

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Why is the Bible written in Parables?

[This came out of a discussion I was having with someone online... it's a little out of left-field, so please bear with me].

The reason the Bible is written in Parables is fundamental human psychology, and keys into our unique ability to craft a long-term history for our species.

It's basic human psychology; you want to teach someone something? Wrap it in a narrative - it sticks much more than dishing out the facts ever will. In fact, if you make it a story about someone else, it gets an automatic authority that a story about you never will.

Humans like story. It's the way we passed on information from generation to generation for... well... generations. It's the only thing we had that would stick before we had the written word. So it's not surprising that the Bible is metaphorical; it has to be, otherwise it would have been washed away by the passage of time.

It's also why we like entertainment. From a socio-evolutionary perspective, humans who enjoyed telling stories, and listening to them learned how the seasons changed. They learned how to work with one another. They learned how to avoid childbirth when it was too dangerous. They learned how to work together. Any humans that didn't enjoy storytelling died out quite quickly because they had no method for long-term data storage.

The Bible in the form it was written, and Hollywood Blockbuster movies ultimately exist because of the same psychological trait. Metaphor is one of the most defining human traits we have.

Unfortunately, marketers now know how that machine works, and are fine tuning it. They can seed ideas, and they can seed desires with amazing effectiveness and efficiency. And we're soaking in it all the time.

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#story, #psychology, #religion
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